This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Nottingham Forest slumped to a fifth league defeat in six outings on Sunday when they succumbed to a 2-1 loss at home to Cardiff City.
A brace from youngster Ruben Colwill condemned Forest to another bad result and cemented their place at the bottom of the Championship, with Chris Hughton under a mass amount of pressure.
He did go for the jugular though from the get-go against the Bluebirds after deciding to start Lewis Grabban and Lyle Taylor together in a 4-4-2, and it was the former who opened the scoring for Forest.
Quiz: Are each of these 18 celebrities a Nottingham Forest supporter or not?
Should the two play together again though when Middlesbrough visit the City Ground on Wednesday night? The FLW team have given their thoughts…
I would say no, mainly because I feel the two of them are too similar in terms of style.
Both Taylor and Grabban love to be the main man and feed off the chances that are created purely for them, so playing them together doesn’t seem to work.
They’re both not the quickest and they also struggle to hold the ball up well enough to bring others into play.
If I was to sacrifice anyone it would be Taylor, purely because Grabban scored at the weekend, so his tail will be up.
The game is make or break for Chris Hughton, so he has to get his selection right.
It’s something that should be considered and certainly shouldn’t be cast aside as something of a poor experiment just because Forest lost to Cardiff.
Hughton has clearly circled the 4-4-2 as something he wants to try over the international break and, let’s be fair, the last thing his squad needs is him chopping and changing systems.
Taylor and Grabban are both capable of scoring goals in the Championship and the pair of them being on the pitch at the same time heightens Forest’s chances of scoring the goals they need.
Obviously it comes at a cost, without much creativity in terms of a No.10 in the middle of the pitch. However, Forest play with plenty of quality out wide, which negates that slightly.
Ultimately, this type of system has been on the way out for a number of years and only a select few clubs get it right.
Hughton, though, has had success with it before and if he thinks it is the key to getting Forest going, he needs to stick to his guns.
The attacking duo worked well together in spells, but given the lack of striking options, and the plethora of wingers and attacking midfielders Forest possess, I would not deploy the two strikers together.
Both players are intelligent, both in possession and out of it, which has caused defences problems in the past, but to me they are better suited to a 4-2-3-1 or even a 4-3-3.
Middlesbrough are a side who shine defensively when a team goes more direct, and playing with the two forwards somewhat forces Forest to go longer at times, as they lose a midfield player as a result.
Getting players like Joe Lolley, Brennan Johnson and Philip Zinckernagel on the ball and creating chances is how Forest start to win games again.
Maybe the duo could work well together against different opposition, but against a Neil Warnock side who have proven to be consistently strong at the back in recent seasons, the physical battle is not the avenue to go down.